Choosing the right web hosting company is one of the most important decisions you will make regarding your Internet business. When selecting a hosting company, there are many factors to consider. Make sure to follow these four tips for choosing a hosting company for your website.
1. Know Your Needs
You need to have some idea of what your web hosting needs are before you start shopping around for a web hosting company. The cost of different web hosting packages will vary based on size requirements and bandwidth capacity, so a web hosting company won’t be able to give you a price estimate without this information.
2. Reliability of the Hosting Company
Before you select a hosting company, you need to know how reliable that company is. If you ask any web hosting company whether or not it is reliable, the answer will of course be yes.
The question you need to ask is about downtime. You need to know how much downtime the web hosting company experiences. You also need to find out if the quoted expectation for downtime includes regularly scheduled maintenance or not.
Remember that when the web host is down, the Internet component of your business is down time. If prospective customers can’t find you online when they are ready to buy, they will find what they need from someone else. When it comes to Internet business, downtime is money lost.
3. Reputation of the Hosting Company
One of the great things about the Internet is how easy it is to access information online. There are a number of forums online that appeal to webmasters and website owners. When you are searching for a web hosting company, visiting these forums can be an invaluable source for information about web hosting companies.
When you find an active forum where those who are knowledgeable about web hosting are posting, look for threads that are related to web hosting. If you don’t see recent posts on the topic, post a question yourself. You may get some ideas about which web hosting companies are the best. You’ll definitely learn about some of the ones you want to avoid!
4. Customer Service
You will want to go with a web hosting company that has available and responsive customer service. The first thing you should do is look at the website of a hosting company you are considering. Check out the options for customer service. If you have a difficult time finding customer service information posted on the website, that is a good sign that you are going to have trouble getting help when you need it.
Ideally, you want to select a web hosting company that offers 24 hour customer service with multiple ways of requesting help. Many of the best hosting companies offer live chat help, e-mail technical support, and a toll-free technical support phone number.
However, just because a web hosting company has customer service contact information posted does not mean that the company actually provides customer service. Before you make your final decision, use the customer service contact methods to see what kind of response you actually get. If you don’t get a live person, or a quick response, keep looking for another company.